Massachusetts man fatally shoots neighbor and then himself, prosecutors say

The suspect forced his way into his neighbor's home, according to officials.

August 15, 2023, 6:32 PM

A Massachusetts man allegedly broke into his neighbor's home Monday, killing her, and injuring her grandkids before fatally shooting himself with a gun, according to officials.

Police officers arrived at a residence in Springfield, Massachusetts, Monday afternoon after responding to calls of shots fired, the Hampden District Attorney's Office said in a press release on Tuesday.

Springfield Police Department officers discovered the dead body of Victor Nieves, 34, on the floor, as well as the body of Kim Fairbanks, 52, officials said.

Prosecutors identified Nieves as the suspected gunman.

Upon searching the home, Springfield police found three children – ages 5, 10 and 12 -- in a bedroom, according to the Hampden District Attorney's Office. Two of the children suffered from gunshot wounds, officials said.

The 10-year-old girl was air-lifted to Boston Children's Hospital and is listed in critical condition, while the 12-year-old girl is at Baystate Medical Center in stable condition, according to Hampden officials.

The 5-year-old boy was not physically hurt. The three children are siblings and are Fairbanks' grandchildren, prosecutors said.

PHOTO: Hampden District Attorney Gulluni, Springfield Mayor Sarno, Springfield Police Deputy Chief Akers and Hampden ADA Bennett provide a briefing on an incident that occurred inside 174 Berkshire Avenue around 2:40 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2023.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Springfield Police Deputy Chief Lawrence Akers and Hampden ADA Max Bennett provide a briefing on an incident that occurred inside 174 Berkshire Avenue around 2:40 p.m. on Aug. 14, 2023.
Springfield Police Department

“I remain deeply saddened by this tragic attack and I am profoundly sorry for these children and their family members," Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni said in the press release. "This is unequivocally one of the most heinous and cowardly acts to which I’ve had to bear witness as District Attorney.

Nieves, who lived in the upstairs apartment of the multi-family home, forced his way into the first-floor apartment and began firing at those in the home, before dying by suicide, an initial investigation by the Springfield Police Homicide Unit and the Hampden District Attorney’s Murder Unit revealed.

"This is an absolute tragedy, and I am praying for this family. In my forty-plus years at the Springfield Police Department, this is one of the most heart-wrenching incidents I can remember," Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl C. Clapprood said in a statement. "I am extremely proud of my officers who were the first responders that were able to get these children to Baystate as rapidly as they did. We are holding a debriefing for those officers and will provide any support that we can because most officers won’t have to encounter a scene like that in their entire career.”

This is an ongoing investigation by Springfield police and the Hampden District Attorney's Office.

"My heart goes out to the parents of these children and the family and loved ones of Ms. Fairbanks. As investigators, we will do everything we can to support this family as we move forward and close the criminal investigation," Gulluni said.

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